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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

South Waterfront (Finally) Gets Affordable Homes

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM

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  • David Reamer
A deadline has been announced.

Construction on an affordable housing complex in South Waterfront will begin in November 2010, after 10 years of urban renewal money building the district, affordable housing projects falling through and promises of a mixed-income, diverse neighborhood seeming more and more like fantasy.

As I wrote about last month in the piece "We Built This City", South Waterfront's urban renewal dollars have built hundreds of units of luxury condo housing, but zero affordable housing units. When it was planned, the district was supposed to have 788 units of subsidized housing available to people who make under Portland's median family income.

Earlier this year, the city gave up on building 400 units at Block 33, pulling out its plans at a financial loss and reorienting to focus on building units at Block 49 instead. Now, Portland Housing Bureau has announced, Block 49 is finally underway.

The $49.8 million building will include 208 units of housing affordable for Portlanders making less than 60 percent of Portland's median family income (about $619 for a studio to $776 for a two bedroom) and 42 studios reserved for veterans, who will pay no more than a third of their income to in rent. Its construction will be financed through a mix of tax increment financing dollars and $7.57 million in bonds.

I hope it actually gets off the ground. It's especially important to target vets for these kinds of projects, though 42 studios is such a drop in the bucket when you look at homeless veteran rates. Anyway, More details on the project here.

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